Rep. Sewell Statement on New Trade Deal Negotiations
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07), a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade and one of nine Democratic Members of Congress chosen by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to negotiate improvements of U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, released the following statement today following the working group’s meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer:
“The working group is making significant progress in our negotiations with Ambassador Lighthizer. My goal has always been to ensure that Alabama manufacturers, farmers, workers and consumers benefit from changes to the current NAFTA.
“Today, we had a productive discussion about ensuring the new agreement is fully enforceable, which, to me, is one of the most important issues we face in negotiations with the Administration. It is critically important that NAFTA 2.0 is fully-enforceable and labor standards are raised so Alabama manufacturers can fairly compete.
“The Speaker and the Democratic Caucus have identified labor, the environment, access to medicine and enforcement as the four key areas of the agreement that must be improved to attract broad bipartisan support. During the July work period, we met with Ambassador Lighthizer on four separate occasions in order to articulate our principles, discuss specific concerns and propose solutions to address these concerns.
“The ball is now in Mr. Lighthizer’s court, and we look forward to his responses and counter proposals. The working group is eager to make these critical improvements to the new agreement and expects progress to continue during the August recess.”